A family was just awarded $3.2 million in a nursing home abuse lawsuit over bedsores. The lawsuit, awarded last week, was filed against the Pioneer Health Care Center, a Rocky Ford, Colorado nursing home owned by Grace Healthcare, said the Denver Post.
The La Junta jury awarded the multi-million figure to the family of 88-year-old Henry Frazier, who died following complications resulting from a massive bedsore, the size of a baseball, said the Denver Post. According to the lawsuit, the Pioneer Health Care Center allegedly hid the severity of Frazier’s bedsores from his family.
Grace Healthcare, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, owns nursing homes in eight states and runs about 4,000 beds. Nursing home administrators and its attorney could not immediately be reached for comment, noted the Denver Post.
Frazier was admitted into the nursing home in May 2009; he was employed at the facility previously as a janitor. Before late September 2010, when the wound developed, Frazier—who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease—was able to walk, unassisted to the facility’s cafeteria, said the Denver Post. Once the wound developed, Frazier stopped eating, drinking, and walking; he became bed-bound and unresponsive.
The following month, in early October 2010, a nurse’s aide told Frazier’s son, Mark, that there were severe bedsores on his father’s buttocks and scrotum, said the Denver Post. The wounds were infected and smelled badly, the nurse’s aide said, adding that he feared being fired, but was concerned Frazier would die and wanted to alert the family.
When Mark Frazier insisted his father immediately moved to a hospital, Pioneer Health Care Center administrators protested, arguing that Frazier should be cared for by them, the lawsuit alleged, said the Denver Post. When Frazier was finally taken to a hospital, his physicians determined that, in addition to the bedsores that were ultimately linked to his death, he was dehydrated and malnourished.
Pioneer Health Care Center was later inspected by Colorado Health Department officials, who cited the nursing home for 27 deficiencies and discovered numerous problems, including what the Denver Post described as wide-scale infections.
We recently wrote that the national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, just filed a nursing home neglect lawsuit against Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a Long Island, New York facility. That lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Nassau County who woman suffered severe and permanent injuries from falls associated with negligence on the part of Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. The Grandell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is also being charged with violations of the New York Public Health Law in addition to negligence and gross negligence.
Parker Waichman has long been dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home abuse and negligence victims and has, among other measures to protect this vulnerable demographic, prepared a video blog that can be viewed at: http://www.yourlawyer.com/blog/falls-can-be-fatal-to-the-elderly/
We’ve long been following the issue of elder abuse, a devastating indignity that attacks these defenseless members of society on all levels: Physical, emotional, chemical, financial, and sexual. Neglect, abuse, mocking, and even workers who have abused residents as part of pranks against each other are becoming more and more commonplace. With the senior population growing and living longer, concerns for their welfare is paramount. The elderly are among our most fragile citizens and, often, we have no choice but to place our older relatives in the care of others. Sadly, families are left with limited options as reports of nursing home abuse continue to rise. Yet, despite ongoing headline-making news concerning abuse of the elderly, the abuse does continues.